The initial evolution of millisecond magnetars: an analytical solution

Çıkıntoğlu S., Mus S. S., Ekşi K. Y.

MONTHLY NOTICES OF THE ROYAL ASTRONOMICAL SOCIETY, vol.496, no.2, pp.2183-2190, 2020 (SCI-Expanded) identifier identifier identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Volume: 496 Issue: 2
  • Publication Date: 2020
  • Doi Number: 10.1093/mnras/staa1556
  • Journal Indexes: Science Citation Index Expanded (SCI-EXPANDED), Scopus, Academic Search Premier, Aerospace Database, Applied Science & Technology Source, Communication Abstracts, INSPEC, Metadex, zbMATH, DIALNET, Civil Engineering Abstracts
  • Page Numbers: pp.2183-2190
  • Keywords: gamma-ray burst: general, stars: magnetars, GAMMA-RAY BURSTS, NEUTRON-STARS, PULSARS, AFTERGLOWS, ALIGNMENT
  • Istanbul Technical University Affiliated: Yes


Millisecond magnetars are often invoked as the central engine of some gamma-ray bursts (GRBs), specifically the ones showing a plateau phase. We argue that an apparent plateau phase may not be realized if the magnetic field of the nascent magnetar is in a transient rapid decay stage. Some GRBs that lack a clear plateau phase may also be hosting millisecond magnetars. We present an approximate analytical solution of the coupled set of equations describing the evolution of the angular velocity and the inclination angle between rotation and magnetic axes of a neutron star in the presence of a corotating plasma. We also show how the solution can be generalized to the case of evolving magnetic fields. We determine the evolution of the spin period, inclination angle, magnetic dipole moment, and braking index of six putative magnetars associated with GRB 091018, GRB 070318, GRB 080430, GRB 090618, GRB 110715A, and GRB 140206A through fitting, via Bayesian analysis, the X-ray afterglow light curves by using our recent model. We find that within the first day following the formation of the millisecond magnetar, the inclination angle aligns rapidly, the magnetic dipole moment may decay by a few times, and the braking index varies by an order of magnitude.